For kids with braces, keeping their teeth and gums healthy is essential. Braces create traps and nooks where food particles and plaque can easily hide.

Without proper cleaning, these particles can lead to cavities, gum inflammation, and white decalcification marks on the teeth. In the worst cases, if not addressed, severe gum inflammation may even require surgery, and the decalcification is often permanent.

It’s understandable that thoroughly cleaning teeth can be challenging with braces. But don’t worry – with some helpful oral hygiene tips, children with braces can maintain healthy teeth and gums.

Angle The Toothbrush Properly

When brushing, hold the toothbrush bristles at a 45-degree angle to clean the areas above and below the brackets. This angulation helps ensure the areas of the tooth right along the gum line—where plaque accumulates the most—as well as the gums themselves are properly cleaned.

Holding the toothbrush horizontally—the way most of us tend to brush our teeth—doesn’t clean your child’s teeth and gums as effectively when they have braces.

Consider a Sonicare Toothbrush

It can be hard for kids to use a manual toothbrush and still get a good clean with braces.

A Sonicare Sonic toothbrush can offer a better clean than a manual toothbrush, making it a worthwhile investment for your child’s optimal oral hygiene.

Remember that brushing should last at least two minutes, two times a day, regardless of the type of brush they use.

Read also: Are Electric Toothbrushes Right for Your Child? The Pros and Cons

Use Braces-Friendly Floss for Optimal Cleaning

Flossing is just as essential with braces as it is without them. Food and plaque can easily get trapped between the teeth and wires.

We recommend using floss designed specifically for braces and dental work, such as these products: The Platypus Orthodontic Flosser and Glide Pro Health Threader Floss.

Read also: Brushing Alone Isn’t Cutting It: Teaching Kids the Value of Flossing

Consider a Waterpik

A Waterpik is a valuable supplementary tool for cleaning your child’s teeth. The pulsating water jets can dislodge food particles and debris that may be missed by brushing and flossing. The Waterpik Water Flosser Nano and Sonic Fusion are our two recommended models.

While a Waterpik can help clean around braces, it is not a substitute for floss. Just like mouthwash cannot replace the cleaning action of toothbrush bristles, a Waterpik cannot replace the mechanical cleansing action of floss needed in the tight spaces between teeth and under the wires.

Visit The Dentist Regularly

Children with braces still need to regularly see their pediatric dentists, even if they have frequent adjustment appointments with the orthodontist.

In fact, regular dental visits become even more important when braces are involved, as regular cleanings have even more of an impact in helping prevent white spot decalcifications, staining, and heavy buildup of plaque.

In fact, many of our patients elect to get cleanings every three months while in braces, since it is so much more challenging to brush and floss adequately around braces.

Be Vigilant About Your Child’s Oral Health Throughout Their Orthodontic Treatment

Having braces is a big commitment for kids and requires diligent dental care. At Lafayette Pediatric Dentistry, our pediatric dental specialists understand this and make it our priority to provide excellent dental services for children with braces.

We work closely with parents and caregivers to make sure that their children receive the best care at each appointment. Our goal is to create a positive dental experience for every child.

If your child has braces and needs top-notch dental care during their orthodontic treatment, trust Lafayette Pediatric Dentistry to provide your child with exceptional care. Contact us online today to schedule an appointment with the best pediatric dentist in Lafayette, LA.